San Mateo, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City) today released the following statement in response to a former commanding officer of the Navy’s Blue Angels found guilty of allowing sexual harassment. Captain Gregory McWherter was given a non-judicial punitive letter of reprimand:

Speier stated, “It’s repugnant that a commander who condoned a pervasively hostile environment was allowed to command and thrive in the U.S. Navy. Until a whistleblower came forward, leadership appeared to be blind to the misogyny and sexism—even though it could be found in the pornography permitted in pilot’s cockpits and was literally painted on the roof of a training facility in the form of a blue and gold penis, large enough to be visible to satellites. This toxic culture would have been obvious to anyone who bothered to look.

“Commanders willfully ignored the evidence of a toxic environment, and have demonstrated yet again that the chain of command is inadequate to address the plague of sexual assault and harassment in our nation’s military.”

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